This was the ultimate of Khmer Rouge strongholds , home to Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ta Mok, the most notorious leaders of Democratic Kampuchea for almost a decade. Anlong Veng fell to government forces in April 1998, at the same time that Pol Pot mysteriously died near the Thai border, and soon after Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered that a major road be bulldozed throughout the jungle to ensure the population didn’t have second thoughts about ending the war.
Today Anlong Veng is a safe, dusty, poor town in Cambodia’s far north that has begun to attract some visitors thanks to the macabre lure of all things associated with the Khmer Rouge. The average visitor will find little of interest here compared with what’s on offer around Angkor, but for those with a keen interest in contemporary Cambodian history it is an important part of the picture. North of town along the ridge of Chuor Phnom Dangrek are the houses of several former leaders of the Khmer Rouge, as well as some dense jungle and compelling views.
Anlong Veng lies about 115km north of Siem Reap on NH67, a dirt road that is straight foward in the dry season, but tough in the wet season. Coming by motorbike, follow the surfaced road to Banteay Srei temple before continuing north past Kbal Spean. Much of the scenery is monotonous try forest, but midway through the journey there is a verdant section of jungle to divert the mind. Anlong Veng is also connected by roads of sorts to Samraong in the west of Prasat Preah Vihear to the east, but there are many land mines (at the time of writing) along these stretches making them unsafe options for the time being.